Science is sound despite “Climategate” claims, finds US probe

  • 25 Feb 2011, 11:45
  • The Carbon Brief

(c) NOAA

An influential investigation in the United States into the emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom has found no evidence that climate change research had been manipulated.

The probe - conducted at the behest of the Republican climate sceptic senator James Inhofe - examined the emails sent between CRU staff and scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US.

The report, published by the inspector general of the Commerce Department, which runs the NOAA, stated: "We did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data."

Mary Glackin, the deputy undersecretary for operations at the NOAA, said: "None of the investigations have found any evidence to question the ethics of our scientists or raise doubts about NOAA's understanding of climate change science."

Research from the CRU was used in the 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "Climategate" was quoted by Republicans before a vote in the House of Representatives this week to cut all US funding for the IPCC. The proposed amendment to the Environmental Protection Agency budget will now go before the Senate.

Inhofe - who has previously described climate change as a hoax - responded to the announcement by claiming that, contrary to the conclusions in the executive summary, the report did show scientists "engaged in data manipulation".

The latest findings follow five influential investigations - three in the UK and two in the US - in the wake of the "Climategate" incident when emails were hacked from the CRU in November 2009 and posted on climate sceptic blogs. None of the probes have found evidence of scientific manipulation.

The CRU emails have been examined by the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons, the independent Muir Russell inquiry, the Science Assessment Panel and two investigations at the Pennsylvania State University. The InterAcadamy Council has also examined the processes of the IPCC reports.

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